CD Review: The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads
It’s a Shame About Ray (Collectors Edition)
Rhino/Atlantic
By David Chiu

Listening to the Lemonheads’ breakthrough 1992 album again and watching its accompanying DVD for this reissue edition is like revisiting a time capsule of music in the early ‘90s. Yet there is something very genuine and heartfelt about It’s a Shame About Ray, a combination of aggressive folk, alt rock, and punk attitude fronted by Evan Dando’s deadpan vocals and good looks. Sure the album is best known for the band’s buoyant cover hit of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” which is a shame (pun or no pun intended) because there are 12 other really standout songs such as the title track, “Rudderless,” the gentle “My Drug Buddy” and “Confetti.” (this reissue contains demos of the songs). The aforementioned DVD, entitled “Two Weeks in Australia” features music videos and live performances of songs from the album and serves to show the band’s popularity at the time. It’s unlikely that this album will ever make it to those 500 great albums lists, but certainly for the ‘90s, It’s a Shame About Ray somewhere belongs with the likes of Nevermind, August and Everything After, and Ten.

Watch a video of the Lemonheads’ “It’s a Shame About Ray”

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